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Mosquito-borne diseases in dogs

Last updated:
27 October, 2023
Reading time: 4 minutes

Find out about mosquito-borne diseases in dogs and how to protect your pet from these threats. Mosquitoes can transmit a number of dangerous diseases through their bites, and it is important to be informed about preventive measures, symptoms to watch out for and treatment options available.

diseases dogs mosquito

Common mosquito-borne diseases

There are several diseases that dogs can contract from mosquito bites. Two of the most common are filariasis and leishmaniasis. These diseases can have a significant impact on your dog's health, so it is critical to be alert to symptoms and seek appropriate veterinary care.

Disease 1: Filariasis

Filariasis is a disease caused by the bite of mosquitoes infected with worms of the genus filaria. These worms lodge in the dog's circulatory system and can cause serious heart and respiratory problems. Symptoms of filariasis include fatigue, coughing, difficulty breathing and weight loss. Treatment for filariasis may include anti-parasitic medications and specific care to control symptoms.

Symptoms of Filariasis

  • Chronic cough.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Fatigue and lethargy.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Abdominal swelling.
  • Development of a swollen abdomen due to fluid accumulation.
  • Exercise intolerance.
  • Weakness and limb lameness.
  • Changes in appetite.
  • Occasional vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Behavioral changes, such as irritability or aggressiveness.

Disease 2: Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by a parasite called leishmaniasis. Leishmaniatransmitted through the bites of phlebotomine sandflies. This disease can affect multiple organs in the dog and cause symptoms such as weight loss, skin lesions, swollen lymph nodes and kidney problems. Treatment of leishmaniasis may involve specific medications and ongoing care to control symptoms and prevent complications.

Symptoms of Leishmaniasis

  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Skin lesions, such as ulcers, scabs or hair loss.
  • Weakness and fatigue.
  • Inflammation of the lymph nodes.
  • Long and brittle nails.
  • Anemia, which may manifest as pale gums.
  • Ocular problems, such as conjunctivitis, uveitis or corneal ulcers.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Increased thirst and urination.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Joint and muscle pain.
  • Enlargement of the abdomen due to inflammation of the liver or spleen.

Disease 3: Dirofilariosis

Also known as heartworm disease, dirofilariasis is caused by the parasite Dirofilaria immitis, transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. The worms lodge in the heart and lungs, which can cause coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue, weight loss and heart problems. It is important to note that only female mosquitoes are capable of transmitting the disease, as they need a source of blood for egg maturation.

Symptoms of Dirofilariosis

  • Chronic or persistent cough.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Fatigue and weakness.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Exercise intolerance.
  • Abnormal heartbeat.
  • Fainting or collapse.
  • Abdominal swelling.
  • Reduced appetite.
  • Occasional vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Opaque and dull coat.
  • Development of a distended appearance in the heart area.
  • Inflammation of the extremities.

Preventive measures

Prevention plays a crucial role in protecting dogs against mosquito-borne diseases. Some measures you can take include:

  • Use of repellentsApply mosquito repellents specific for dogs on exposed areas of their skin, following the instructions of the product and avoiding contact with the eyes.
  • Keep outdoor spaces cleanEliminate any standing water in your garden or yard, as it is a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. Keep containers, buckets and flower pots empty, and make sure drains are clear.
  • Careful during peak hoursAvoid walking your dog during the hours when mosquitoes are most active, such as dawn and dusk.
  • Wipe with a cloth dampened with vinegar water or a germicide. on your dog's coat after a walk or if there are mosquitoes and flies around.

Common symptoms to be aware of

It is important to know the symptoms that may indicate a possible infection in your dog. Some common symptoms of mosquito-borne diseases include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Fever
  • Skin lesions
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

Treatment and care

If you suspect your dog may have a mosquito-borne disease, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately. The veterinarian will evaluate the symptoms and perform diagnostic tests to determine the appropriate treatment.. Treatment may include specific medications, home care and regular veterinary follow-up to monitor your dog's health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here we answer some common questions about mosquito-borne diseases in dogs:

How do I know if my dog has mosquito disease?

Check your dog for skin lesions, such as redness, swelling or bumps on the skin.

How do you know if your dog has leishmaniasis?

To know if your dog has leishmaniasis, you should be aware of possible symptoms, which may include weight loss, lack of appetite, skin lesions, weakness, swollen lymph nodes, long and brittle nails, anemia, among others. However, it is essential to consult a veterinarian, who will perform diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of the disease and provide the appropriate treatment.

It is important to seek veterinary care to control the disease and provide ongoing care to maintain the quality of life of the affected dog.

In conclusion, preventing mosquito bites in dogs is critical to protecting their health. By taking the right preventive measures, watching for symptoms and seeking veterinary care when necessary, you can help keep your dog safe from mosquito-borne diseases. Remember to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home by using mosquito nets, which you can find at Mosquiteras24h.

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Written by: Mosquiteras24h Publications


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